Sony's PlayStation 4 will require a Day One update for US launch

Sony's PlayStation 4 US launch is now less than a month away and -- surprise, surprise -- it's going to require a Day One system update. The company just announced today that a significant software patch (about 300MB in size) will be necessary to enable a slew of functionality, like Remote Play on PS Vita and the Share button, that Sony's been championing through the year. Also going hand-in-hand with this patch is the release of Sony's second screen PlayStation App, which will be available on November 13th in the US (just two days before launch) and on the 22nd in Europe on both Android and iOS.

With the PS4's version 1.50 update, gamers will be able to record and upload gameplay highlights via the Share button, as well as livestream sessions using the inbuilt Twitch or Ustream options. And if you happen to pick up an PS4 Eye at launch, you'll also be able to take advantage of that camera's voice commands and facial recognition features. Crucially, this update also turns on Sony's "Play as you download" function, which leverages the company's Gaikai-powered cloud tech so you don't have to wait half a day before playing recent PSN purchaes.

Since it's made to work with the PlayStation App (or PS4 Link on Vita), the update also transforms mobile devices running the app into second screen controllers for supported titles, a remote for control/keyboard for navigation of the PS4 and makes Remote Play over WiFi on the Vita a reality -- all on day one. Beyond its gameplay functions, the PlayStation App functions essentially as an extension of PSN, letting PS4 owners access their Friends List, send messages across PlayStation platforms (i.e., PS Vita and PS3), edit their profiles, buy games, view Trophies, as well as send and view notifications and status updates within the What's New feed.

Online multiplayer via PS Plus and multiple account PSN account log-in are also bundled into this Day One update, in addition to Blu-ray and DVD support, the ability to play background music while in-game and Party chat. So, basically, everything you've ever heard Sony talk about in the lead up to the PS4's launch will be part and parcel of this very necessary software patch.

But there is one thing Sony's not yet making available to early PS4 adopters and that's the "suspend/resume" feature; a low-power state that means you never have to shut the console off -- you can just pause, walk away and then pick up right where you left off. Sony's hasn't given a timeframe for when gamers can expect this to go live, only saying that gamers can expect further updates on this and other unannounced features "in the near future". Until then, you'll just have to make do with manually shutting off the system. That's rough, we know.

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Sony Computer Entertainment Announces A Variety Of Features Available On PlayStation®4(PS4™) System At Launch
System software update version 1.50 to be released along with the PlayStation®4 system's North American launch; features include remote play with the PlayStation®Vita system, and game play sharing via the "SHARE" button that enhance game play experience

TOKYO, Oct. 25, 2013 /PRNewswire/ -- Sony Computer Entertainment Inc. (SCEI) announced that it will release system software update version 1.50*1 for PlayStation®4 (PS4™) system simultaneously with the official North American launch of the system on November 15, 2013. By updating to the latest system software version, users will be able to enjoy a variety of exciting features from the day of launch.

The PS4 system was designed from the ground up to ensure that the very best games and most immersive experiences reach PlayStation users. It redefines rich and riveting gameplay with powerful graphics and speed, deeply integrated social capabilities, and innovative second-screen features utilizing devices such as the PlayStation®Vita (PS Vita) system. SCE will continue to enhance the PS4 system through future system software updates.

The following features are available on PS4 at North American launch:

Remote Play
Users will be able to access PS4 titles displayed on their living room TVs and play them on a PS Vita system over Wi-Fi networks by using PS4 Link*2*3. SCE anticipates that most PS4 titles will be playable on the PS Vita system through Remote Play*4.
Second Screen
Users can use the PS4 Link*2 application for the PS Vita system, and PlayStation®App for iPhone, iPad, and Android™ based smartphones and tablets*5, to use these devices as second screens in supported titles. PlayStation®App has the ability to enable users to interact with games with their mobiles devices. For example on THE PLAYROOM, a title pre-installed in all PS4 systems that requires PlayStation®Camera, users can draw pictures on their mobile device screens and flick them towards the TV. The images then appear as a 3D object within the game.
Record, take screen shots, and upload gameplay effortlessly
The PS4 system provides dedicated, "always on" video encoding systems that enables seamless uploading of gameplay. Users can share their epic triumphs by simply hitting the "SHARE button" on PS4 Wireless Controller (DUALSHOCK®4), take screenshots or scan through the last 15 minutes of gameplay, tag it and return to the game-the video uploads as the user plays. At the PS4 system's launch in North America, users will be able to share their images and videos with friends on Facebook and screenshots with followers on Twitter*6.
Broadcast and spectate gameplay
The PS4 system also enhances social spectating by enabling users to broadcast their gameplay in real-time to game fans around the globe, using Ustream and Twitch*7 live internet streaming services. SCE provides two ways for users to view live broadcasts. First, the Live from PlayStation® application on PS4 aggregates streams from all PlayStation® users. Second, users can spectate friends' PS4 gameplay from PCs, and applications such as Ustream, Twitch, and browsers, which are installed on their mobile devices. These applications can be easily started up via PlayStation®App, and users can also use these applications to post comments to gameplay broadcasts. Furthermore, users with PlayStation®Camera can stream camera images and microphone sounds along with their live gameplay broadcast.
Play as you download
This feature enables users to play supported digital titles as they are being downloaded*8. When a game is purchased, users can start playing after PS4 downloads a portion of the data, while the rest of the game is downloaded in the background during actual gameplay. Games may be downloaded in stand-by mode.
Multi log-in
A maximum of 4 users can log-in to a single PS4 system simultaneously. These players can use their own save data to play games, and also earn trophies on their own Sony Entertainment Network accounts even when playing a multi-player game together on a single PS4 system*9.
Party (Voice chat)
By using the Mono Headset bundled with the PS4 system, users will be able to chat with up to eight friends enjoying different applications or games. Furthermore, users can use Party to chat between PS4 and PS Vita systems.
Face recognition and voice commands*10
Users with PlayStation®Camera will be able to register their facial image onto their PS4 system, and login to their system using facial recognition instead of DUALSHOCK®4. Furthermore, users can use either the microphone of the Mono Head set connected to DUALSHOCK®4, or PlayStation®Camera to navigate through the PS4 home screen (PlayStation®Dynamic Menu) with voice commands to start up games and shutdown the system, among other features*11.
Background music player
Users can enjoy gameplay while listening to music in the background with Music Unlimited, a cloud-based digital music service*12. Users can also voice chat with friends while listening to music.
Online Multiplayer
PlayStation®Plus (PS Plus) members will be able to play PS4 titles online with other players via the network. PS Plus makes it easy for members to join available online multiplayer matches in a variety of ways, including the ability to easily join a game from a live stream broadcast or Party voice chats.
Blu-ray Disc™ and DVD player
Users can enjoy not only gaming on their PS4 system, but also Blu-ray and DVD video contents*13.

Furthermore, some features will not be available at launch, such as "suspend/resume mode" which is a feature that keeps the PS4 system in a low power state and promptly takes users back to their game. SCE will provide additional information about system software update version 1.50 and features available at the PS4 system's North America launch, and features that will be available after launch, in the near future.

SCE will continuously enrich services and features of the PS4 system, while striving to further expand the PlayStation platform.

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Sony Computer Entertainment Announces North American And European Release Of PlayStation®App, A New Application That Enhances The PlayStation®4 Experience
PlayStation®App enables smartphones and tablets to interact with PlayStation®4 systems and offers smooth and easy access to PSN(SM) features.

TOKYO, Oct. 25, 2013 /PRNewswire/ -- Sony Computer Entertainment Inc. (SCEI) announced that it will release PlayStation®App, a new application for mobile devices, on November 13, 2013 in North America, and on November 22, 2013 in Europe. PlayStation®App will be available free of charge.

PlayStation®App can be downloaded onto various mobile devices, such as iPhone, iPad, iPod Touch and Android™ based smartphones and tablets, from the App Store and Google Play*1. Once installed, these devices can be used as second screens in supported PlayStation®4 (PS4™) titles, and users can easily access PSN(SM) features such as Friend Lists and Trophies. Furthermore, users will be able to exchange messages with members of their Friends List, and browse through news and information on the official PlayStation® website. PlayStation®App comes with a variety of features that allow users to seamlessly access and enjoy the world of PlayStation®.

The following features are available on PlayStation®App:

Directly access various PSN(SM) features and information
Users can access their own profile screen.
Users can access/compare their own and friends' Trophy accomplishments.
Exchange messages between PS4 systems, PlayStation®3 (PS3™) systems, PlayStation®Vita (PS Vita) systems, and mobile devices installed with PlayStation®App.
Access and filter friend profiles.
Notify users about their friends' shared activities on "What's New".
Notify PS4 users when they receive any new notifications or game invitations. Users can also display their lists of game items.
Browse the official PlayStation® website and access information

Users can access the PlayStation® official website to browse through news, blogs and game information. The language and content of the website will depend on the country the user's Sony Entertainment Network account is registered.

PS4 Second Screen Feature

Users can install PlayStation®App on to their mobile devices to use as a second screen in supported games. For example on THE PLAYROOM, a title pre-installed in all PS4 systems that requires PlayStation®Camera, users can draw pictures on their mobile device screens and flick them towards the TV. The images then appear as a 3D object within the game.

Spectate other PS4 users' gameplay

When users' friends upload or begin live streaming their gameplay on PS4 systems, the friends' activities are displayed on "What's New" of the PlayStation®App screen. When users tap on this notification, they can boot pre-installed applications, such as browsers, to spectate the uploaded gameplay. Users can also post comments on gameplay screenshots, footage and live streams.

Purchase game content on PlayStation®Store

Users can purchase game content*2 while away from home and download it directly onto their PS4, PS3, and PS Vita*3 systems.

Use a mobile device as a simple remote to control the PS4 system

Once installed, users can use their PlayStation®App to control their PS4 system as long as both devices have access to the same Wi-Fi access point. For example, users can switch their PS4 system to standby mode, startup their PS4 system from standby mode, and use their mobile phone as a keyboard for their PS4 system.

SCE will continuously enrich services and features of PS4, while striving to further expand the PlayStation ecosystem.

*1

Depending on the version of OS or device limitation, users may not be able to use the application. PlayStation®App will be displayed according to the mobile device's resolution.

*2

Video contents cannot be purchased through PlayStation®App.

*3

A User must be a member of PlayStation®Plus to download content directly to a PS Vita system.